Waiting ... and waiting ... for the bus Senior living

| 18 Jan 2016 | 03:12

It’s been a long time since I came to a bus stop that wasn’t filled with people waiting. And waiting…..and waiting. Waiting sometimes as long as 45 minutes. And it’s been a long time since I took a taxi; that is, until very recently, when my patience ran out and I couldn’t wait any longer for a bus.

What is going on here? And why, after we’ve waited so long, do buses pass by with the “Out of Service” sign on? I wish the MTA would seriously look into this.

Which brings me to the sad fact that slow bus service means horribly crowded buses, short tempers, pokes in the ribs, grumbling when wheelchairs have to be loaded, and walkers blocking the aisles (hard for them and those who have to get by them). I don’t presume to have an answer, but the MTA should. Bus drivers shouting “move to the rear” doesn’t help. There is no room to move to the rear.

We all know about Uber, but have you heard about Via? It’s a new ride-sharing app that will take you anywhere in Manhattan between 32nd and 110th Streets for $7 plus tax or $5 per tax if you pay in advance. Via operates every weekday from 6:45 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. By putting passengers together in an SUV and matching you with others who are going in your direction it is able to keep costs down. Apparently, senior citizens are getting word of Via and telling their friends. It’s a relatively cheap way to get around the city and it’s catching on with all age groups. Of course, you have to have a smart phone, and you may need your grandchild to help you download the app, but grandkids are good at that. There is also UberPool, which offers a discount to riders who are willing to pick up a couple of extra passengers.

Coming of Age NYC is a partnership of several innovative nonprofit agencies working together to help people 50+ connect and contribute to their communities. Coming of Age is part of the positive aging movement and convenes communities of New Yorkers who are over 50 and want to live life with passion and purpose. They offer workshops, special presentations and networking socials for older adults in all five boroughs. Explore Your Future is the premier program and engages participants in dialogue, poses powerful self-reflective questions and facilitates transformational change. Participants come away with a concrete action plan and a community of peers who are starting a similar journey that supports and challenges everyone to meet their goals for the future. Their Capturing the Energy training helps local organizations utilize the skills, passions and interests of those over 50. Contact Janis Glenn, Coming of Age NYC at 443-994-1860 to join them in creating positive aging communities.

Have you heard about Death Café? It’s a movement started in England and is spreading throughout Europe and North America. At a Death Cafe, people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. The idea is to increase awareness of death and help people make the most of their lives. A Death Cafe is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counseling session.

One popular Death Café is led by Dr. Barbara Simpson once a month on Wednesdays from 2:30 – 4:30. at The Ethical Culture Society, 2 West 64th Street. They have discussed, among other things, eco-friendly burials, yoga for bereavement as well as feelings about death and how to deal with them. Also, parents’ deaths and how it affected their ideas about their own inevitable end. Even pet deaths have been discussed. Not only death is discussed. Dr. Simpson stresses also asking how to use the remaining (often many) years of life left and how to live it successfully. When I first heard of this movement, I laughed uneasily. However, I did attend a couple of meetings a while ago and they were interesting and yes, even fun. I’m planning to go back again soon. After all, if death is inevitable (which, of course it is), then we might as well laugh and eat cake while talking about it.